Paris attacks expected to top agenda at G20 Antalya Summit

Paris terror attacks which killed scores of people just days before beginning of G20 Antalya Summit have highly been expected to determine main agenda of meetings

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

French police officers take security measures around the Bataclan concert hall (near Place de la Republique) in Paris, France on November 13, 2015, after deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris.

Paris terror attacks, killing scores of people and shocking the world just two days before the beginning of the G20 Antalya Leaders’ Summit, is highly expected to define the main agenda for the meetings, as world leaders follow each other in the condemnation of the recent DAESH onslaught.

French President Francois Hollande has already declared that he canceled his trip to Turkey to attend the G20 meetings following the "cowardly" attacks by “ISIL [DAESH] barbarians.”

French officials announced assailants targeted several locations in Paris on Friday night, killing at least 129 people and injuring more than 300 others.

Hollande described the incidents as “an act of war” saying that “faced with war the country must make the appropriate decisions. It is an act of war that was prepared, organised planned outside the country with inside complicity that the investigation will establish.”

"France, because it was attacked in a cowardly, shameful and violent way, will be merciless toward the ISIL [DAESH] barbarians. It will act using all means according to the rule of law, in all terrains - interior and exterior - in accordance with our allies,” he added.

According to a statement released by DAESH in its own related websites on Saturday, the group claimed the attacks, indicating that they were carried out to show France that it would remain a top target for them as long as it resumes its current policies.

“[They] are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys, and this attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.”

Turkish leaders hosting the summit have repeatedly urged world leaders to pay attention to the war in Syria, growing refugee crisis and global terrorism during the summit.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously stated that “the subject of Syria will be an important topic during the G20 Summit. More realistic steps including our proposal on a safe zone freed from terror should rapidly be taken [by world powers],” in a speech on Nov. 11, during a meeting organised by one of the Turkey’s business groups.  

Turkey has consistently defended a plan to establish safe areas and no-fly-zones in Syria. The Turkish Foreign Ministry previously indicated that refugees who stay in Turkey and neighbouring countries could be settled in the “safe” areas which will be cleared from ISIS by Turkey and US-led coalition forces, following effective operations against the group.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in early September that the Turkish government has vigorously tried to persuade world leaders to establish a safe zone in northern Syria in order to help relocate refugees and leading displaced people into protected areas in the country.

However, Davutoglu complained that nobody paid attention to their persistent call for safe zones and emergent need of addressing the refugee crisis.

Following the “heinous” Paris attacks, strongly condemned by Turkish leaders, along with world leaders, it is almost certain that the summit talks will be dominated by recent terror assaults, global terrorism, Turkey’s “safe zone” plan, and refugee crisis.

Turkish presidency's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin pointed out on Monday that, “this year, the deepening refugee crisis and the issue of global terrorism will be discussed by G20 countries' leaders at a working dinner on Nov.15.”

The G20 was materialised in 1999 as an extension of G7 meetings by the world’s primary finance operators to deal with the existing and developing problems of global economic governance. The new group has served as an international gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors of world’s biggest economies until 2008.

The Leaders’ Summit has been established in 2008 by an initiative of the then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in part to respond global economic crisis of 2007-2010, indicating that world’s major powers have recognised the importance of emerging countries in discussion of global issues.

The 10th annual G20 Leaders’ Summit will be overseen by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey who has been holding the rotating presidency of the summit since December 2014. The meetings will start with an opening speech by Erdogan on Nov. 15.

The latest summit of the G20, which is an acronym for “The Group of Twenty,” brings together top leaders from 19 countries -- Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States -- and the European Union (EU).

Turkey has implemented strict security measures for the summit and declared the town of Belek a high-security zone, where a 12,000-strong security force has been deployed to secure the area.

Security measures will be strengthened in the zone through more than 350 cameras, plate and facial recognition systems, and the use of high-tech electronics.

Turkish aircrafts stationed at Konya and Antalya airports and at the Incirlik Air Base will also be ready to provide security for the summit, if necessary.

Turkish authorities have also determined an area of hotels in the town of Belek near the sea as a summit region or main zone, where only accredited guests will be able to enter with 30 designated hotels in the zone which will be subject to a systematic safety inspection during the duration of the summit, Turkish media has reported.

An additional 16 hotels in Belek, outside of the declared summit region will host guests from business groups and NGOs.